Facebook is hosting its 2021 Communities Summit today, where it brings together group admins from across the platform to help them connect, share insights, and learn about upcoming features to help improve group engagement.
And as part of the event, Facebook has announced a slew of new groups tools – here’s an overview of all the new options being added to further streamline and improve its community offerings.
“To help make your groups more accessible to those in the broader community, we will be testing the option for admins to extend community access to those without an existing Facebook account, enabling them to participate in a single group.”
“For admins of Facebook Groups, the new experience will allow them to use an official voice when interacting with their community. For admins of Facebook Pages, the new experience will help them build community in a single space for members to participate and engage. Admins of Pages will also be able to take advantage of the moderation tools that Groups have today. This new experience is in early testing over the next year, before it becomes more broadly available.”
Groups remain a critical element of Facebook’s success – in fact, it’s likely the key aspect that keeps many users coming back, particularly considering recent insights which show that Facebook engagement has been in decline in many aspects over the past few years.
Facebook Groups, at 1.8 billion monthly active users, are a central social element for many people around the world, and as local news publications shutter, due to impacts on advertising, groups are also becoming an even more crucial tool for staying in touch with happenings in your area, and maintaining connection with neighbors and friends.
It’s one of the more powerful, and beneficial aspects of Facebook’s platform – and while groups can also amplify more harmful movements, and bring dangerously like-minded collectives of people into contact, the broader good of such connection is also clear.
Facebook can do more to protect against the former, but the latter is central to parent company Meta’s ongoing mission.
Indeed, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg had this to say on the metaverse as part of his speech to the Communities Summit:
“Groups and communities on Facebook are going to be an important part of [the metaverse] vision. Nothing beats being together. But when we can't be together in person, the metaverse will help get us even closer to feeling that sense of an in-person connection.So, we're focused on building bridges from our apps on 2D screens into more immersive virtual experiences. Facebook, and your groups, are going to be central to this.”
It might be eying the future, but Meta needs to maintain the bonds of existing communities to maximize its vision.
Groups remain central to this, and these new tools will provide more options on this front.